46-year-old Kulbhusan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, reportedly in Balochistan's Mashkel area. Pakistani authorities charged Jadhav with spying and conducting subversive activities in Balochistan province and Karachi city. The Pakistan government reportedly established the arrested man as an Indian spy who entered into Balochistan through Iran with a valid Iranian visa. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) aired a video of Jadhav in which he confessed to involvement in terror activities in Balochistan and Karachi. "I am still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement in 2022," he said in the video. He was also denied consular access
A year later in April 2017, Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said a Field General Court Martial awarded the capital punishment and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed the death sentence. A brief ISPR statement described Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, as an Indian Naval officer attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The statement said Jadhav was tried under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923. The Court Martial found Jadhav guilty of all the charges, the ISPR said.
Following the sentence, neighbours and friends of Kulbhushan Jadhav said it was absolute nonsense that Jadhav could be involved in spying or any such activity he has been accused of. Several others demanded that the government must secure his release as soon as possible. His father Sudhir Jadhav, who retired as a Mumbai Police officer, maintained that his son was framed in the case, but none of the family members was seen in public after the Pakistani military court pronounced the verdict. Many even protested the ruling outside the Jadhav residence at Silver Oak building in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai.
Reacting strongly to Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar (pictured) in New Delhi summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and gave a demarche, which said the proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are "farcical in the absence of any credible evidence" against him. He further stated that it will be 'premeditated murder' if the sentence is carried out 'without observing basic norms of law and justice.' However, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that Kulbhushan Jadhav has a right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days, even as he justified the death penalty given to him.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, asserting that India will go "out of the way" to ensure justice to Kulbhushan Jadhav who is an "innocent kidnapped Indian". Jadhav's execution will be taken by India as a "pre-meditated murder" and Pakistan should "consider its consequences" on bilateral relations, if it proceeds on this matter, she warned. She said three hours after the death sentence was announced, the Indian High Commission received an official communication from the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, reiterating the Pakistani proposal for conditional consular access.
In Delhi, a group of army veterans staged a protest near the Pakistan High Commission against the death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. Nearly two dozen ex-servicemen, including Col (retd) Ravi Tokas and Col (retd) KPS Rana, took part in the protest. The protesters were led by Delhi Assembly legislator Col (retd) Devinder Sehrawat. They also handed over a memorandum to the authorities at the Pakistan High Commission in Chanakyapuri.
Republican Party of India President Ramdas Athawale (pictured) sought US intervention to secure the release Kulbhushan Jadhav. The RPI (A) chief slammed Pakistan over the death penalty awarded to the former Indian Navy officer and said it amounted to violation of his human rights. Condemning the military court's verdict, the Rajya Sabha MP said Pakistan has been hostile towards India.
Commenting on Kulbhushan Jadhav's predicament, Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani (pictured right) said India must seek from Pakistan a copy of the judgment awarding death sentence to the former navy officer, , so the grounds on which he has been convicted is known. The eminent criminal lawyer further added that "I should read what is the charge and what is the evidence on which they (Pakistan) have acted, and why this death sentence. Death sentence is justified only in those cases in which you cannot imagine a more serious offence, that is the law, as far as I can see."
Meanwhile, the external affairs ministry said it had no information on retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's location in Pakistan or his condition. It is also understood that India, which has been denied consular access to Jadhav 13 times, has again moved a request for access. Pakistan on the other hand claimed 'foreign spy agencies' may have 'trapped' and abducted an ex-army officer, who mysteriously disappeared from a Nepalese town. Lt Col Muhammad Habib Zahir disappeared on April 6 from Lumbini, where he had a job interview.
India appealed against the death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav and demanded from Pakistan a certified copy of the charge-sheet as well as the army court order in the case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer. Sources in New Delhi said apart from diplomatic options, India will also explore legal remedies permitted under Pakistan's legal system including Jadhav's family appealing against the verdict.
Pakistan prepared a new dossier about alleged militant activities of Kulbhushan Jadhav and will share it with the UN and foreign envoys stationed in New Delhi, media reports said. The new dossier is based on Jadhav's early testimonial and statements given in front of the Field General Court Martial about his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan, the reports added.
A social activist moved the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for release of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The petition sought direction to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to approach the ICJ for providing consular access to Jadhav, saying the former Naval officer has not only been illegally detained by Pakistan but also wrongly awarded capital punishment. Petitioner Rahul Sharma also said that the Pakistan military has failed to provide fair trial to Jadhav. The petition, which is likely to come up for hearing, sought direction to the authorities for securing release of Jadhav. It said government should also issue protocol for release of Indians abducted/kidnapped in other countries.
On April 18, a group of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) barged into Zara's showroom at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, and warned the authorities there to stop selling Pakistan-manufactured clothes, citing the Pakistan government's decision to hanging Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav.
India and Pakistan crossed swords at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Kulbhushan Jadhav's case with New Delhi demanding the immediate suspension of his death sentence and Islamabad accusing it of using the world body as a stage for 'political theatre'
One of India's top lawyers, Harish Salve, charged only R1 as the fee to fight India's case at the International Court of Justice, against the death penalty given to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court.
The friends and family of Kulbhushan Jadhav were elated after learning that the International Court had stayed Pakistan's decision to execute Mumbai man Kulbhushan Jadhav who was arrested by the Pakistan military on charges of alleged spying. Jadhav's childhood friends have said they now hope to see their friend back in the city soon.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the country's top civil and military officials to discuss Islamabad's strategy to counter India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav spy case ahead of the next hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Sources privy to the meeting said that the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting discussed Pakistan's options and preparation to defend its stance in the case, whose next hearing is scheduled on June 8. It was held a day after Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security that Pakistan will appoint its ad hoc judge at the ICJ and that he will himself lead Pakistan's legal team at the United Nation's court.
Pakistan said that the alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav will remain alive till he does not exhaust the right to seek clemency. "Irrespective of ICJ's stay, Jadhav will remain alive until he has exhausted the right to request for clemency, initially with the COAS (army chief) and later with President," Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.